The holiday is meant to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved black people in the United States.
Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom for enslaved black people in the United States. The holiday was first observed on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved black people were free. Juneteenth has since grown into a day of remembrance and celebration of African-American culture. It is not recognized as an official holiday by the federal government or any state government.
What does Juneteenth mean?
The name Juneteenth is taken from “June” and “nineteenth,” meaning June 19th. The term was coined by Texas slaves who wanted to celebrate their freedom on June 19th rather than on Emancipation Day (January 1), which they felt didn’t recognize their struggle for freedom.
When did Juneteenth become a national holiday?
“Juneteenth Independence Day” became a national holiday in 1980 after being celebrated by various states for several years prior. The observance was first declared an official state holiday in Texas on January 26, 1980.
How do I celebrate Juneteenth?